Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • One Level 1 module in Sociology.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To consider ageing from a sociological and social policy perspective.
  • It aims to provide students with an understanding of the nature and implications of ageing at a societal and at an individual level, in contemporary societies such as Britain.


  • This module considers 'ageing' from a sociological and a social policy perspective.
  • We shall discuss the ways in which ageing has been explained and understood, especially in ageing societies such as contemporary Britain.
  • We shall consider the validity and usefulness of age, particularly 'old age', as a social category and the related debates around inequalities among older people.
  • We shall also explore the nature and implications of social responses to ageing, within the labour market, within families and through the development of state and other forms of welfare provision to tackle the 'problems' of old age.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will:
  • Be able to discuss different models of ageing.
  • Be familiar with the main debates around social responses to older people, their roles and identies.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be able to evaluate these debates and models from a sociological and a social policy perspective.
  • Be able to consider the validity and usefulness of age as a social category.
Key Skills:
  • At the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • the ability to interpret and critically analyse tables, graphs and charts.
  • an ability to synthesise and critically analyse material from suggested reading.
  • the effective management of time and meeting deadlines

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is based on lectures and seminars and is structured around the learning outcomes above.
  • Lectures are designed to provide a broad framework by addressing major themes, ideas, issues and debates.
  • Students will be encouraged to develop their learning skills in relation to note taking, wider reading and further study, and time management.
  • Students will be encouraged and expected to be active participants in Seminars.
  • Assessment is by summative essay and a summative examination.
  • titles/questions will be oriented towards the learning outcomes.
  • These modes of assessment are intended to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of this area of study, and demonstrate their ability to draw on and use appropriate conceptual language.
  • Formative essays, given part way through the module, are designed to help students develop the skills and abilities required for summative work..

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 Hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one two-hour written examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one assessed essay 1500-3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

2 essays of 1500-2000 words

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University